There’s nothing better, in my opinion, than opening up a mailbox and finding a handwritten postcard from a friend. A few years ago, I started making a point to send my family and friends a postcard from my travels across the U.S.

I spend a lot of my time traveling- living out the back of my car. Almost every small town I stop in has a shop with a tall carousel filled to brim with aging postcards. While they probably sold dozens a day in the 40’s & 50’s, today many of them sit gathering dust, hoping to be sent to a friend. 

Sending a  postcard requires bit more effort than sending a text and it makes the experience more meaningful. I mean, most of the shops that have postcards don’t stock stamps, and collecting your friend’s addresses isn’t as common as it once was.

But my friends and family liked it, and as time went on I started to get postcards from my friends during their travels as well. It’s interesting to think, that in the age of texting and instant chats, that a letter can be so fun to write and read. 

One day, at a junk shop, I noticed a stack of old postcards, sent long ago to people across the United States. At a dollar each, I bought about a dozen. I read their dated messages, like some kind of voyeur, and found touching, mundane and weird messages. I looked up the recipients, but rarely found the people the card went to. 

More interesting than the messages on the cards were the cards themselves. The art on the front, the publisher, the stamp, the cancellation mark, the place and time, etc. Each vintage postcard showed time, they’ve almost all yellowed with age, feature hotels that have been raised, or use words and idioms forgotten by time. 

Researching each piece of each card turned into a hobby of sorts, where over time I start writing about what I’ve learned from each card. 

As I work on this hobby I hope to encourage others to write a postcard, or six, to your friends and families. A postcard often means a lot to folks because it’s so deliberate. A message on a phone, even with a picture, is so incidental when compared to taking the time to handwrite and share a message with people who mean something to you. 

I hope you enjoy the posts!